If you are inspired by the figures that appear below, and/or value Catholic education in the United States, and/or were looking for a lasting gift for any beloved Catholic school teacher(s) in your life, get a copy of my new book Called to Teach: Daily Inspiration for Catholic Educators, published by Ave Maria Press. If you take a photo with the book, post it on Twitter, and tag me (@McClainJustin), I will even give you a personalized shout-out instead of a detention!
During the annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week in the United States, it is important to take the time to remember what makes Catholic schools “different”: an embrace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, lived every day. There are many different types of Catholic educational settings, between pre-K to the university. Focusing on K-12 Catholic education, here are eight surprising facts and statistics about Catholic education in the midst of Catholic Schools Week. (All of these figures are courtesy of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education, the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education, and the Archdiocese of Hartford [Connecticut]’s Office of Education, Evangelization, and Catechesis.)
1. The Catholic Church runs the largest private educational system in the United States.
2. With 200,000 members, the National Catholic Educational Association is the world’s largest private professional educational organization.
3. Of the nearly 150,000 teachers in Catholic schools, only around 3% are clergy and religious brothers or sisters. This makes the laity comprising 97% of teachers in Catholic schools that much more crucial when it comes to supporting and promoting a Catholic school’s Gospel-centered mission and fostering its Catholic identity.
4. Catholic schools have a low teacher-to-student ratio of 1:13.
5. 99% of students in Catholic high schools will graduate, and 88% will attend four-year colleges or universities.
6. Catholic schools save taxpayers over $20,000,000,000 (yes, billion) annually.
7. Graduates of Catholic high schools are more likely to vote in political elections upon turning eighteen.
8. 1 out of every 10 Catholic teens in the United States attends a Catholic high school.
Again, check out my new book Called to Teach: Daily Inspiration for Catholic Educators, published by Ave Maria Press. God bless you, and remember to hug your Catholic school teachers!